Our Co-Founder John has been thinking about donations…
“Firstly I would like to thank everyone for the amazing response to our fundraiser to help those fleeing Ukraine. All the money will be spent meeting people’s needs. The first members of our team will be arriving on the Romania/Moldova border this week.
“Having followed the news and social media it is obvious there are millions of people that want to help and our fundraiser has shown this. People who know me will be aware that I would never criticise how people try to help but I do give my opinion. I am seeing the mountains of clothes being donated and I just want to say why I think this is not a great idea.
“My first point is that the people crossing the border are 85% women and children. These people are in transit to other places and countries where they hope to find temporary accommodation until it is safe to go back to Ukraine and be reunited with their families. If we think about it logically if you are a mother travelling with your children and in many cases with grandparents are you going to weigh yourself down carrying loads of second hand clothes? In my opinion NO the time you need these clothes is when you arrive at your destination.
“Secondly just think about the cost of getting these clothes to the border. In my opinion money that can be spent far more wisely. I know from experience the time it takes to sort clothes and sorry most probably over 50% will end up in the bin as not being suitable.
“I could go on about why I think sending clothes is not a great idea and I know they are donated with good intention and that shows people care.
“So what do I think is needed? Yes sorry but the answer is money. That money can be spent locally buying what is needed after a long journey and to be able to continue your journey.
“So what is needed? Firstly a meal, people especially children will arrive very hungry. Secondly some packed food including fresh fruit for them to eat as they continue their journey. Thirdly, women will need hygiene products they will arrive with little money and what they do have again needs to be spent when arriving at final destination.
“I am sure not many people will get to the end of this post and it is unusual for me to write so much but I wanted to explain why we at Refugee Support are going out to concentrate on giving out food. If you donate, that is what your money will be spent on.
“Once again thank you everyone for your donations and your messages of support.”